Officer Mark Dakoski spent time off duty learning how to use social media to investigate crime.
After all, he is the school resource officer at Largo High School, where he is responsible for the safety and security of more than 2,000 students and staff.
Using these methods Dakoski was prepared for several criminal events including gang fights and drug activities.
For those efforts and his professionalism, leadership, dedication and commitment he is honored as the 2012 Officer of the Year by Largo Police.
"Dakoski personally knows and interacts with his students, keeping them on task and out of trouble. He deals with many different situations from minor behavioral issues and mental health counseling, to criminal complaints. By getting involved at the early stages, he is often able to deal with many situations before they get worse," according to a police press release.
Dakoski uses his role at the school to help students, teachers and others in the police department.
He is the unofficial school social worker, psychiatrist, fight referee, counselor, behavior specialist, mentor and role model, according to a release.
Through his security and support which allows the school staff to teach in a safe environment Dakoski contributed to the school’s first "A" rating from the state, according to the release. He also attends after hours school events and provides presentations throughout the year on seat belt safety, bullying, driving while intoxicated and drug awareness.
He also has partnered with the police's gang unit to provide information about current student gang members and gang activity.
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